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possible law suit?

This is a discussion on possible law suit? within the Horse Law forums, part of the Horse Resources category
  • What course of action do I have if I have bought a sick horse when it was listed by seller as healthy?

 
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    10-19-2008, 09:48 PM
  #21
Weanling
No, it's not a crime if you don't do a vet check, but then it's your own fault if the horse isn't healthy.

I'm not even going to say anything more, because this argument is very pointless. If they had done a vet check, they would have known these problems.
     
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    10-20-2008, 05:26 PM
  #22
Trained
Just to clear somethings up.

We did NOT get him from a rescue. I said that we "rescued" him. He was being worked into the ground, was not given proper care, was whipped and abused (I know this because I saw how those same people treated both their lesson horses AND their boarders' horses)

I am not looking to sue them, I was just wondering if one could sue based on something similar to that.

It was my first time buying a horse and almost every site out there says to get a horse from the place you're taking lessons from or a barn (I started taking lessons there and it was a barn.. seemed nice) So I didn't feel a need to get a pre-purchase exam done (I of course, was thinking that every barn treated all their horses like gold.. based on the last barn I was at). So that is why we didn't do anything. We thought we would be better off getting them (we bought a mare the same time as Gem) from there than a private party. As time went on, we realized that that barn had a bad reputation and have heard of a lot of problems with horses being bought from there.
But when you're knew to the area, it's hard to tell IMO.

We have invested a lot of time and money into Gem since we found out about his conditions. I guess it just would have been nice to know before hand, but it didn't work out like that. No big deal.

Snapple, I do appreciate your comments :) I was just trying to understand if something COULD happen. I'm only 21 and still have a lot to learn.
Yes I have learned that from now on to always get a pre-purchase done on a horse to know EXACTLY what is wrong so there are not hidden surprises down the road.
I did not want this to turn into an arugment, I was just trying to understand.
     
    10-20-2008, 05:34 PM
  #23
Weanling
Appy, sorry.. I wasn't trying to start anything.

It's not your fault.. you didn't know. I'm juat saying that you should always do a vet check.
     
    10-20-2008, 05:42 PM
  #24
Trained
Snapple, it's really ok

Like I said, I know for next time, and I know if the person says that there's nothing wrong, there usually is :)

There was this one horse I was looking into getting. He seemed to have a lot wrong with him (Underweight, abcesses, possible founder rings) that was not told to me via e-mail with the owner. I was planning on getting a vet check and deciding after if I wanted him, but the owner refused my offer (She wanted 750 for him, I said 400.. which I thought was fair based on his condition and lack of training) Anyways, long story short, I didn't get him, but I'm still curious as to what a vet check would have found.
     
    11-07-2008, 09:30 AM
  #25
Weanling
Other posters are correct - you would have to prove that the people knew about the condition ahead of time. That is usually rather easy to do (find their vet or anyone they discussed the condition with) but is only part of the story.

To be actionable, you must prove that they intentionally mis-represented the condition. A horse could be broken down, sick and have 6 months to live... nothing wrong with selling or buying it. The problem comes in if the owner represents this as a "healthy" horse.

The next problems that must be overcome would be the owner's defense if the matter was pursued. People, even when they are 100% right, fail to consider what the _other_ party will state in their defense.

Failing to get a vet check would be used against you (or anyone). The defendant would state "Vet Checks are standard. If they were that concerned about this supposed condition, they would have had a vet check. It obviously wasn't a concern."

And of course, there is what you just wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by appylover31803    
which I thought was fair based on his condition and lack of training)
The owner would absolutely use this against you, claiming you knew about this obvious "condition" and didn't care. Hey, that's why the price was so low! If not for the condition, the price would have been much higher, as you clearly stated! You just realized that the "training" was over your head and want to go back on the deal.


The only possible way around this is a written contract which specifically states the horse is "sound" and "healthy." Possible because they would still use the above defenses. A contract would (probably) constitute a representation by the seller. From there, if you get a vet to testify "I told them the horse wasn't sound/healthy on this date, and here is my written report" you would likely have them on breach or contract/fraud.

Legal action always sound good, but it never as easy as you think. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the only recourse.
     
    11-09-2008, 02:37 AM
  #26
Started
I go to all the horse sales in my area. The way it works (here anyway)...all horses fall into 1 of 2 categories.....sound or as is. Sound means that it is 100% healthy as far as the seller knows...and if that turns out not to be the case then the owner must take the horse back and refund the money. As is...well at the last sale I went to the auctioner said "if the horse falls into 3 pieces, then they are the buyers 3 pieces...no owner responsibility" I know you didnt get yours from a sale...but im assuming they are going by the law in that aspect. I just thought it was good information. Im a new horse owner as well. Also, at the horse sales...sound does not mean rideable! Just healthy! I was suprised by that.
     
    11-09-2008, 06:37 AM
  #27
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy2u1    
I go to all the horse sales in my area. The way it works (here anyway)...all horses fall into 1 of 2 categories.....sound or as is. Sound means that it is 100% healthy as far as the seller knows...and if that turns out not to be the case then the owner must take the horse back and refund the money. As is...well at the last sale I went to the auctioner said "if the horse falls into 3 pieces, then they are the buyers 3 pieces...no owner responsibility" .
Be aware that most sellers/breeders I've delt with always write 'as-is' on the bill of sale, not because there is anything wrong, but to protect themselves from potential law suits.
     
    11-12-2008, 01:47 PM
  #28
Foal
This is why I always bring atleast two other people with me when going to look at the horse. If you clearly stated "Does this horse have any medical etc conditions" and they gave a clear "no" and it turns out they do have issues, there is enough there to cause a lawsuit ONLY if there is a vet record of it. If there is no vet record the seller could say "well I didnt know". If there is a vet record with an ailment listed and you were not clear told after asking about it, yes you can have a possible lawsuit. We usually ask before we come see the horse if they could have all updated vet record/farrier records available just incase.

And this is why I hate auctions. It the same around here. If the word "sound" is not written anywhere....BEWARE. People have ways of hiding ailments so at the time of the sale no one can tell the difference. Also I know with standardbreds at some sales they test the horses before hand for drugs (like bute and tranqs and stuff) but I have been told at auctions they don't do it all the time. So that nice quite and sound horse could turn out to be mr.super psycho.

Just be careful, always have atleast ONE extremely horse saavy person with you when going to look at a possible buy. ALWAYS ask for any and all medical records and a past owners list if available.

Good Luck with your horse!
     
    12-28-2008, 11:44 AM
  #29
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxie    
Actually a lot of those types of deals are as is, unless specified in a contract. It would be hard to determine whether or not the selling party knew about the health of the horse before hand, unless of course there is a paper trail.

Civil litigation is can be very lengthy and expensive. Our courts right now are backed up like you wouldn't believe. In the county I live in, our courts are looking at 18 mos to 2 yrs for a spot on the docket.

My advice is that if you or someone you know is thinking about pursuing a civil suit I would talk to a lawyer first and foremost to see if there is any merit at all, it could be that you could nail the seller for misrepresentation of the horse.

On a personal note: When we bought our mini bulldog, we were told that she was in perfect health, and for the most part she is. Except for the fact that she is extremely allergic to vaccinations, and now could potentially have mange. So yea.. I've spent a large amount of money on this dog that was supposed to be in perfect health. I could probably go back to the breeder and see what he could do for me, but.. I know I would get no where because like I said before, a lot of those deals are 'as is'.
Outside of horses, in order for you to be able to get after someone and be successful, you have to be able to prove that it's something that was present prior to. WOuld you have access to vet work or diagnostic imaging work that was done BEFORE you bought the horse? By law the clinics are not allowed to release any information BUT I would try to see if there is someone else in the field that might be able to help you get your hands on this stuff.

One good reason why I prefer to buy a youngters over a grown horse any day because you can rule out a lot of problems and not fear as much.

Keep us posted on the outcome. I really feel sorry you are going thru this :(
     
    12-28-2008, 02:51 PM
  #30
Trained
We're not going through with any legal things with Gem's previous owners. To us it's not worth the time or money because we have Gem and are healing him up.
He's already made tons of improvements and with each farrier visit is getting better and better.

It just sucks that we went through this, but I'm actually happy we did. It has taught me a lot.
     

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